Interview: The Sounds
The Sounds played a set, including material from their as-yet-unnamed forthcoming album, at the Relentless Energy Sessions Festival at London's Relentless Garage on October 21, 2010. The band gave IAT this interview before the show.
How has 2010 been treating with you?
Maja: Really good!
Felix: We've been writing new material for our new album, we did a tour the whole summer in Europe and parts of the States, and now we're recording a new album. It's going really well. This time we're in control of pretty much everything. We're producing it ourselves, we have our own studio, and I guess we have more fun in the studio. You're not afraid to have fun, you just record what's inside you.
Will it be the famous 'The Sounds' sound?!
Maja: I think that's the thing about this new record. According to me -- I'm only saying from my own personal experience recording the album -- I think this album is more like the good old Sounds. I think that the last album was really great, and we needed to do that album just to experiment a bit and break new ground and just to do something a little bit different. I think this fourth album is a lot more like 'old school Sounds' -- even though it's so much better, the songs are better, the recording is better, it has more fine detail. I don't know how to explain it. But the songs are very basic, they're super-straight: great chords, great hook, great production. It's just really really cool to be able to be part of this record. I think it's going to be one of the best ones we've ever put out.
Do you think the success that you have had since forming in 1999 helped pave the way for other bands, and helped to create a climate where British and American music fans look to Scandinavia for new music?
Maja: That's very flattering of you to say that, even if it's only a question.
Felix: In a way it probably has.
Maja: Probably, yeah.
Felix: Because if you're a band from Sweden, which is not the biggest country in the world, and as we are we've been touring pretty much the whole word, I guess that opens the door for other bands to realise that they can also do it. Because that's what it did for us.
Maja: Exactly. That's what The Cardigans did for us. Those guys in that band are really cool and super-great and I'm actually quite close to come of them. I only met them in the last couple of years, never during their big success. That's exactly what they did for us. They showed young kids like us, when we were in high school, that you can come from Sweden and actually become quite famous and tour the world and do US tours and all that cool stuff. So maybe, 12 years later, maybe that's what we're doing for other Swedish acts. Yeah. Maybe you're right!
How has the experience of being in the band changed?
Maja: The band hasn't changed but the business is different. I think that's the only thing that's the same, is the band itself.
Felix: The business side is different. We've been together for 12 years and we've always had our vision and no one has ever told us what to do, but the more you work with this industry, the more you realise what you can do yourself and that you don't need other people's input sometimes. Sometimes it's good to have, but with this new album for example, we know how we want to sound, how we want to write, how we want it produced, and everything. So the band is aways going to be the same when it comes to that. It's just that the business side has become more of our world now than it was before.
Do you have a title for the new album?
Maja: I think it's up to the drummer. He is usually the guy who comes up with the great titles for everything. I'm going to tell him to think of something.
Felix: He has some ideas, but we're still waiting.
What can people expect from your set tonight?
Maja: Tonight I have no expectations myself!
Felix: We haven't rehearsed! It might be the best show of the year, it might be the worst, but I think everyone's gonna leave here with a smile on their face. Either laughing at us or just "Fuck, I really love that band." I think everyone's gonna have a good time though.
So expect the unexpected?
Maja: Yeah! I mean I'm not nervous, but I'm scared I'm going to forget the lyrics and everything tonight. It will be fine. Right? Right?!
Interview by Sophy Grimshaw. Photo by Dan Medhurst.